God’s will is not done on Earth, as it is done in Heaven:
after this manner
you should pray
who is in the sky
holy is your name
may your reign come
may your will be done
in the earth
as it is in the sky
This is a back-handed admission that God’s will is not accomplished on Earth. What we see in our present order of things here does not reflect the sociality which exists, coupled with eternal glory, there [D&C 130:2]. Another way to say this is that there is a disconnect between the rule and order of our heavenly Parents’ kingdom in the sky — and the rule and order of humankind on this planet.
The disconnect between Earth and Heaven is purpose-full:
and the gods also said
let there be an expanse
in the midst of the waters
and it shall divide the waters
from the waters
and the gods ordered the expanse
so that it divided the waters which were under the expanse
from the waters which were above the expanse
and it was so
even as they ordered
This “expanse” [referred to in Moses' accounts as a "firmament"] is the vaulted dome we see when we look up at the sky.
As an aside:
- It’s important to remember that scriptural cosmology is not taken from scientific, astronomical cosmology — but is always given from the frame of reference “upon which thou standest“.
- Therefore, you see the ancient Hebrew cosmology [as well as that of the Norse, and others] described in holy books as a flat-disk Earth with a dome-like Sky suspended over it — despite the fact that it is undisputed [scientifically] that the Earth is a sphere and the Sky is all of outer-space surrounding the Earth for billions of light-years in every direction.
- People naturally describe the Earth as flat and the Sky as a vaulted dome when they’re speaking from the frame of reference of being a human standing upon the ground. For example, you give someone directions by telling them to go “straight” a certain distance and then to turn — despite the fact that their course would actually be “curved” on our spherical planet [if we were speaking from a context-less, scientific perspective]. And we do things like ask when the “sunrise” will be or when the stars will “come out” — despite the fact that the sun is stationary relative to Earth [so it doesn't "rise" or "set"] and that the stars are always “out” [just visible or not].
- So there is no need to attempt to take the scriptural description of a four-cornered, flat-disk Earth under a vaulted Sky-dome as scientific fact — nor is there need to be bothered by the fact that it’s not “really” like that. Remember that the Lord always describes cosmology from the frame of reference of what it looks like to a person standing upon the ground of this Earth.
Now back to the point at hand — the expanse or separation placed between Earth and Heaven was purposeful. Everything God creates has purpose and value. His creative activities of the second day were planned and were declared “good”. Which means that the disconnect between “there” and “here” is supposed to be there.
You live upon an assortment of atoms obeying the laws of physics:
We live on a collection of minerals, and we’re housed in an arrangement of atoms that are given order by a unique string of deoxyribonucleic acids. All these elements were forged elsewhere in interstellar factories that exploded in supernovae and moved all these heavier atoms to our corner of the galaxy, where we find ourselves today. And all of that is totally disconnected from any meaning, purpose, order, or teleology.
Now, we should not suppose that just because our physical theories in science have given us a complete description of how we [as protons, neutrons, and electrons interacting through electromagnetism, the nuclear forces, and gravity] are governed — that everything anyone would ever want to take seriously is identifiably reducible to that thing as a collection of particles moving around in space and time according to the Standard Model. Our physical theories might give us the correct “rules” by which everything in the universe interacts — but that can never tell us [as human-beings on planet Earth] how to “play a good game” of Life based on these “rules” — or how to deal with complex questions regarding economics, meteorology, ethics, sociology, etc.
There are no external derived “meanings”, “purposes”, or “morals” that come as a consequence of the scientific laws. Physics and chemistry are not teleological [trending towards a certain “goal” or “desired” outcome] — atoms are not “trying” to do anything. However human-beings, as biological systems and social animals, are. We have a life that must have meaning for us to value it, but live in a universe with no meaning to offer.
Therefore, successfully figuring out the fundamental laws that govern how physical matter behaves was a comparatively easy task — it’s still deciding by what laws we can best act within this world that obeys the laws of physics that is the hard part [because the answer to that is nowhere found, as such, in the physical “rules”]. Knowing the rules of chess and how each piece moves doesn’t not, necessarily, make you a good chess player– but, if you’re going to be a good player, then your strategy better not include things like moving the Knight diagonally [which is inconsistent with the rules of the game].
Your test is to see how you will connect Earth with Heaven:
Even though the desire for meaning or purpose is innate in every human mind — we don’t get to make demands of the universe. Demanding purpose or reasons out of things will not make them come about. The two are completely disconnected [the universe from purpose, Earth from Heaven].
So — if you want to find it — then you’ll have to connect your life with meaning, purpose, and value for yourself. That firmament, divide, or immense gulf was placed between you [here on Earth] and your meaning/purpose so that you can find it amidst the random chaos of protons, neutrons, and electrons interacting by electromagnetism, the nuclear forces, and gravity [which is all that is going on "down-here"] however you see fit.
This dark and dreary wilderness, this large and spacious field, is separated from Heaven so that we can take the images of meaning and order that we desire — and bring them into reality [our reality]. That we may take broken and scattered pieces and breathe into them the breath of life — take the Word and make it Flesh. In us.
The fundamental activity is to personify the unconscious drives and forces within the human mind — and then bring yourself into a relationship with them consciously [by your own free-will and choice]. And that’s really what a “test” is — a space in which you may take the image of a real thing and see what you’ll do with it, or a space where someone can see if you are able to select an image that represents a real thing that’s “in play”, “out-there” from a set of false images that are empty and void and don’t have a “real” existence outside of the testing ground.
Find it in the person of Jesus Christ:
the fullness of divinity lives
in bodily form
and in him
you find your own fulfillment
The most basic meaning of the Hebrew “elohim” is that of “powers“. The “god” you choose to follow will be the “power” by which you connect your Earth with Heaven [the system you use to collapse that expanse, making it "on Earth" as it is in "Heaven"]. One’s “god” will be a reflection of how their mind takes its place in the universe and how they find meaning and value in life. Thus, if you choose to worship a violent god, then your actions and worldview will be contentious and hostile. If your dominant god is compassionate, then you will experience your life through the lens of acceptance, mercy, and forgiveness. Etc.
If the God that created the universe [Jehovah, YHVH -- or EE-Yow-Way-EE] were to be embodied and expressed as a human-being on planet Earth — then that would look exactly like the life of Yeshua of Nazareth. So — any human-being on planet Earth attempting to claim “God” as being in support of their behavior or upholding their beliefs must square that claim against the normative claims made by Jesus’ words and life.
For me to find my own fulfillment in Christ calls me to be committed to the basic concept of servanthood and compassion [see The Revelation of God in Jesus Christ]. In doing that, I have voluntarily bound myself to Christ and his word by my covenant to obey his every commandment. This voluntary servanthood [or yoke] that I take upon myself binds me to the fundamental reality that “God” is to be found in being under the most, serving the most, and being connected to the most [instead of the other way around].
This, for me, makes the person of Yeshua of Nazareth the very bridge, pillar, rod, or ladder that I use to connect Earth [my life here as a physical collection of atoms bumping into other collections of atoms according to the laws of physics] with Heaven [my innate desire for meaning, purpose, value, and order that emerges from and endures beyond what I'm doing here as collection of particles moving around in space and time], and is how I bridge that firmament or expanse placed between the two.
When Jacob left the land of Beersheba and traveled towards Haran,
he arrived at a certain place
and stopped there for the night
because the sun had gone down
and he took the stones of that place
and used them for pillows
and lay down there to sleep
and he dreamed
a ladder set up on the earth
and the top of it reached to heaven
the angels of god ascend and descend upon it
YHVH was there
standing over him
With the life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ — a perpetual intercourse has been opened-up between Heaven and Earth through the mediation of him who was God manifested as a human.
and Yeshua said to Nathanael
I say unto you
you will see the sky open
and the angels of god ascending and descending
upon the son of man
The angels ascending and descending “upon the Son of Man” stand as a metaphor taken from the custom of dispatching couriers [angelos or messengers] from the nobleman to an ambassador in a foreign setting — and from the ambassador back to the nobleman. So it is the person and teachings of Jesus Christ that stands as the medium through which we are to connect on life here on Earth — with our teleological goal of Heavenly order and purpose.
Jesus was explaining to Nathanael that the “greater things” we are able witness upon becoming familiar with the person who was Jesus Christ will be the very connection/bridging of the expanse that we all experience between Heaven and Earth. That is what he was offering Nathanael.
That was the dream/desire of Jacob when he was leaving Beersheba traveling towards Haran and he saw the ladder/pillar extending from the Earth up towards the Sky. And this is still the dream/desire of every human-mind that looks around at the world we find ourselves born into and seek to find our own purpose/meaning in.
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